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Etech 2005 - Life Hacks

The Life Hacks session was very good from a personal and professional perspective.

Here are my my edited notes ...

Live Hacks application functional areas (geek perspective):

  • decent email search (many tools)
  • easy webscraping (generating RSS feeds)
  • keyboard macros for Windows/Linux (like Mac tools: launchbar, butler, quicksilver)
  • filepile for everyone (Flickr, iFolder, Groove)

43 Folders Recap (Merlin): 'Getting Things Done (Getting) by David Allen' is a  "Framework for making progress on projects that are important to you" but "Can't put things into folders all day long and still get any work done."

Lo-Fi Paper Hacks are a great example of doing the "Least Complicated Thing" to get something done.

The 'Hints & Tips' concept entitled "Four Head Ticket Trip: Agree Everyone Has A Ticket" is a great example of "How do you find ways to not screw things up."

Need to check out these tools/concepts: QuickSilver (launch bar - command line interface) for Mac, Growl, and Unix tool called Remind.  Also Google Suggestion is a create tool/example of something simple that helps be more productive.

Keyboard short cuts may not be ultimately faster to do a process when compared to a mouse or other interfaces but they seem to keep the user in "the flow" and they continue to have a great deal of focus on the problem at hand vice being distracted by interfaces.

We need to be ready to help the technical inexperienced person (TIP) use technology to their advantage.  It helps us in the long run because then they help others, ultimately reducing the demand on alpha geeks.

Geeks love big screens.  Why?  Check out research by Mary Czerwinski.

Tips for protecting your work flow from distractions:

  • Exit Email/RSS
  • Exit Chat
  • Limit Internet via a proxy
  • Eliminate navigation problems
  • Utilize background tasks for notification of emergency


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